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A Tale of Brutal Repression and Extraordinary Resilience

Many have been arbitrarily detained, imprisoned, or forcibly disappeared. Some died while in state custody. Some live with permanent physical ailments and mental trauma as a result of torture by the authorities. Some, after suffering years of unrelenting…
Liu Xiaobo addresses the crowd at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, May 1, 1989.
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Civilians Brutally Treated by Egypt’s Military and ISIS-Affiliate in North Sinai Conflict

  By a Middle East and North Africa Staff Member* When asked why he left Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, “Odeh” could only laugh, then pause. He struggles to answer any question that reminds him of his former life. Then, he told me the…
A woman yells as a neighbor’s house is destroyed. © 2014 Private
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Rohingya Children’s Education Blocked at Every Turn

Some of these children and their families resorted to buying Bangladeshi identity documents as the only way to secure a secondary school education and their future. Now, the authorities are targeting and expelling those students. Government policy is…
Rohingya refugee students demonstrate
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    When a colleague from Memorial, a leading Russian rights group, called me early in the afternoon of January 9, I cheerfully sang, “Happy New Year!” It was the first working day after Russia’s generous winter holidays, and the day…
Oyub Titiev stands in front of a portrait of his murdered colleague, Natalia Estemirova, in Memorial's Grozny office, Grozny, Chechnya, Russia.
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Rohingya Refugee Has Spent 4 Years on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island

He made the journey from Burma by boat to Thailand, to Malaysia, to Indonesia, and then to Australia’s Christmas Island. But when his boat reached Australian waters, Australian immigration officials questioned him and transferred him to a detention center…
Refugees and asylum seekers protest against Australia’s offshore processing policy at a detention center on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea.
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An Increase in Prosecutions for Social Media Posts is Silencing Russia’s Citizens

When Ekaterina Vologzheninova posted a satirical cartoon criticizing Russia’s involvement in Ukraine on her social media page, she had no idea what was coming next or that she would end up with a criminal record. After all, she only had four…
Ekaterina Vologzheninova
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Protester Yulia Galyamina was hospitalized after a severe blow to the head

When I spoke to Yulia Galyamina, she was in the hospital with a concussion and other injuries received after a riot police officer hit her in the face with a powerful blow. She still felt dizzy and achy, and several of her teeth were wobbly. As she…
Yulia Galyamina and Nikolai Tuzhilin on the ground with riot police officials next to them. Moscow, July 2017
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Despite Russia’s January cold, hundreds of people packed the central square in Voronezh, an eight hour drive south of Moscow, for the planned LGBT rights protest. When Andrey Nasonov arrived, he saw a bus of riot police and several police cars, and…
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Seven year-old Nika brims over with life, dancing and singing her way around the kitchen of her family’s home outside Moscow. All smiles, she pauses to tell a visitor about the ballerinas she saw perform at a recent Christmas show, recites bits of poetry…
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Russia to Host the Paralympics, But Millions With Disabilities Face Discrimination

For many 19 year olds, the world is a place of growing possibilities and increasing independence. Not for Nikolai Titkov.  Thin and pale, he spends nearly all day, every day, in bed. Pushed against a wall in his narrow bedroom, the bed is a jumble of…
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Human Rights Watch's Alison Des Forges Award celebrates the valor of individuals who put their lives on the line to protect the dignity and rights of others. Human Rights Watch collaborates with these courageous activists to create a world in which people…
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The Role the Judge Believes Feminism Played

by Rachel Denber We stood on the steps inside the Moscow courthouse – the nearby courtroom was jam-packed -- listening as the judge read into a microphone her guilty verdict against three members of the feminist punk group Pussy Riot. I felt a weight in…
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Maikel Nabil, a 25-year imprisoned for blogging, has been on hunger strike at Marg prison since August 23 to protest his unjust imprisonment. The strike is of extra concern because he has low blood pressure and is taking medication for a heart condition.…
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Human Rights Watch's Alison Des Forges Award celebrates the valor of individuals who put their lives on the line to protect the dignity and rights of others. Human Rights Watch collaborates with these courageous activists to create a world in which people…
News
Human Rights Watch's Alison Des Forges Award celebrates the valor of individuals who put their lives on the line to protect the dignity and rights of others. Human Rights Watch collaborates with these courageous activists to create a world in which people…
News
During the weeks of protests that led to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's downfall, you saw Egyptian men and women standing together, side-by-side in the crowds. Across the Middle East, women have taken to the streets. In Egypt and Tunisia, women…
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Reprint of Liu Xiaobo's chapter in the anthology China's Great Leap (2008)

This essay is a reprint of Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo's chapter in the anthology China's Great Leap: The Beijing Games and Olympian Human Rights Challenges, edited by Minky Worden (Seven Stories Press, 2008), pp. 263-272. This text was translated from…
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2009 Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism Human Rights Watch's Alison Des Forges Award celebrates the valor of individuals who put their lives on the line to protect the dignity and rights of others. Human Rights Watch collaborates with…
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Natalia Estemirova, a top human rights activist in the troubled Russian republic of Chechnya and a close colleague of Human Rights Watch, was abducted near her home in Grozny on the morning of July 15, 2009, carried off in a car as people on a nearby…